Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley, OFM Cap. and businessman Jack Connors are being honored for their vision and leadership in creating an innovative model for Catholic education and its impact on the Church and the Greater Boston community at the 15th Anniversary Dinner for the Campaign for Catholic Schools (CCS).
The event is drawing several hundred business leaders, benefactors, and school officials to the Seaport Hotel on November 2, 2023, at 6:00pm for this milestone event.
CCS is celebrating 15 years as a change agent for rebuilding Catholic education in the cities of Boston and Brockton, with:
- More than 26,000 students served.
- 1,500 educated annually at two regional academies with five campuses.
- 100% of students graduate and go on to high school; 75%+ attend Catholic high schools.
- 40% come from single parent homes.
- Average family income is $47,000 (those applying for aid)
- 44 students do not have a permanent home.
New governance with lay boards as well as a unique CCS co-sponsorship of these academies have played a pivotal role in the success of this innovative model.
“Generations of students have benefitted from a Catholic education that opens doors of opportunities and serves as a foundation of faith, family, and community. Today in the Archdiocese of Boston we have established a path to success that is sustainable and impactful because of the leadership of people across business, academia, and the non-profit worlds,” said Cardinal Seán.
CCS announced that Cardinal Seán is the recipient of the Saint John Paul II Catholic Academy Jack and Eileen Connors Founders Award for his leadership and commitment to strengthening, enhancing, and saving Catholic education in Dorchester and Brockton. CCS is also honoring Jack Connors for leading the CCS for 15 years since its inception.
Mr. Connors said, “When Cardinal Seán asked me to help him with restoring Catholic education in these urban communities, I jumped at the invitation. We were further inspired by the families of these kids, who want for their children the best education possible, which is exactly what our parents desired for us. Because of our efforts and because of all of those who support this mission, the youngsters enrolled in our schools have a better shot at success. Not only do they learn the fundamentals, but they also learn about the importance of character, leadership and respect for oneself and for others; Catholic values, you might say. The future of Catholic education is stronger and brighter, and I am honored to have worked alongside the Cardinal during these past fifteen years.”
Catholic schools have a profound impact on local communities and on American society with research showing its graduates are more likely to be civic minded, more likely to vote and more likely to help serve their communities. The Campaign for Catholic Schools is committed to “providing a great education to children from underserved communities.” Jim Walsh, President and Executive Director of CCS, said, “In the 15 years since its founding, CCS has raised more than $130 million to benefit the two large regional academies it cosponsors, on five school campuses: Trinity Catholic Academy in Brockton and Saint John Paul II Catholic Academy in Dorchester. Many of our alumni have gone on to successful careers in science, business, education, and non-profit areas. We are most proud of their accomplishments. We are grateful to Cardinal Seán and Jack Connors for their leadership and commitment to our students and families”.
Funds raised have gone to:
- Fully-renovate five school buildings and a Teen Center
- Curriculum enhancements and technology upgrades
- Upfront discounts for families on cost/tuition differential
- Teacher support and retention programs
- Before, after school, and summer school programs – to partner with and support working parents (open 6:30am to 6pm, summer)
- Facility upkeep and operational support
Cardinal Seán said, “Jack Connors has been a champion for Catholic education bringing together people who share a similar commitment to giving our students the best possible chance to thrive and succeed. There are no words of gratitude which can adequately capture the extraordinary positive impact that Jack has had for our work to rebuild Catholic education.”
The Cardinal also expressed his appreciation for the contributions of many in our communities who stand in support of the future of Catholic education in time and treasure. They energetically participate in finding solutions to how we can improve and strengthen Catholic education and for that we are forever grateful.
New governance with lay boards cited as a model for other Catholic schools across the nation.